Thornton Academy News

The Anglers' Society keeps on casting during the pandemic
Katy Nicketakis

Science teacher Josh Delcourt started the Anglers’ Society when he arrived at TA in the fall of 2013. Since then, club members have met weekly to chat about fishing and participate in monthly open water or ice fishing outings. The club is a popular one, with as many as 40 students taking advantage of the opportunity to join their classmates and enjoy one of Maine’s favorite pastimes. 

The Anglers’ Society also creates a vehicle for students to actively learn about environmental responsibility and safety on the water.  “Much of our learning in the Anglers' Society revolves around the life histories and ecology of the species we are after, as well as the management systems put in place by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure the future sustainability of fishing here in Maine. Before heading out, we discuss the regulations pertaining to each body of water we are fishing in, and the reasoning behind them. Additionally, students who participate in open-water outings develop canoe paddling and safety that will serve them for a lifetime,” explains Delcourt. 

The connections students have with each other and their affinity to the club have proven timeless. Delcourt has kept in touch with many alumni over the years and says it has been extra special to see them begin to give back to the club in adulthood. “Last year, Rachel Richard ‘16 purchased and donated a new dry bag ahead of our planned overnight trip. This is a mandatory piece of equipment for participants on the overnight that has the potential to be a financial burden. It was really moving to have Rachel think of our current members and make an unsolicited donation like that.”

Like all aspects of school, the current COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for the club to function as it normally would this year. Students are now meeting weekly via Zoom to keep in touch, with monthly outings taking place as CDC and DOE recommendations and restrictions permit. Delcourt remains committed to his students and the mission of the club, “in a world that seems more and more tied to screens, to see how many students at TA share a passion for the outdoors is really affirming. I'm excited to continue my work getting our kids out on the water whenever possible.”

a student displays the fish he caught